Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A cry to the unknown

Dallas Willard once said something along the lines of, 'the thing about philosophers is that they dig deeper but come up drier.'  In the think-tank I attend we are studying Willard's book 'Renovation of the Heart.'  It is a smashing book but it certainly could do with a few more illustrations. You can tell that Willard is a philosopher by trade.  One of the few stories he tells is the following: 

Edith Schaeffer tells of a man from the Lisu tribe far out in the hills of China.  There was in him a great longing for a God he did not know.  One day he found on a mountain path a page torn from a Lisu catechism.  It read: 'Are there more gods that One?  No, there is only One God.  Should we worship idols?  No ...'  And the rest was torn away.  He went home and destroyed his alters.  Immediately his daughter became very ill and his neighbours abused him for making the demons angry.  The man thought that if there was One True God perhaps he could reach that God with his voice.  He knew nothing about prayer, but he climbed to the top of the highest peak in the vicinity, twelve or fourteen thousand feet high, and shouted out, 'O God, if You really are there and You are the One I am to worship, please make my little girl well again.' It took a long time to climb back down, but upon arriving home he found the little girl completely well, with no time for recuperation needed.  She had recovered at the time he had prayed.

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